PS Vita will not come in 2011 after all

Sony has quashed rumors of an early fall US release date for the Playstation Vita, leaving its ardent fans disappointed until 2012.

Sony revealed a lot of information about the Vita in June at E3, including its official name, 3G exclusivity with AT&T, and the $250 base-level US price point. But one thing it specifically did not say is when the device will be coming out.

The most precise we were able to get was a targeted holiday 2011 release.

However, it now looks like only Japan will be able to realize that goal. The device will launch there by the end of the year, but MSN has quoted Sony executive Kaz Hirai as saying the rest of the markets, including the US and Europe, are now on track for an “early” 2012 window.

The quote comes just a couple days after an internal Blockbuster employee memo had listed October 28 as the release date for the device in the UK.

The Vita is something of an unfortunate story because Sony has reported having inventory issues in its Japan manufacturing facility as a result of the year’s earlier extreme weather.

The Vita has already been called Sony’s potentially last game-specific mobile device. The company has already started pouring resources into Android and has been working with bringing Playstation connectivity to its sister mobile company Sony Ericsson.

However, the Vita offers several features that most traditional smartphones can’t, such as a dedicated game-launching memory card slot, dual joysticks, a touch-sensitive panel on the back of the device, and the ability to sell at low prices without a mobile carrier subsidy.